Mechanisms and Biosensors of GTPases

Daniel Abankwa, PhD

Affiliated Group Leader

daniel.abankwa [at]
Adjunct Professor at Åbo Akademi University

Professor of Cancer Cell Biology at the University of Luxembourg



The number of cancer caused deaths in the world is expected to rise from about 9M in 2015 to 15M in the following 20 years. Novel therapeutic approaches against cancer are therefore urgently needed.

We are developing novel targeted drugs, which would be administered in a personalized manner, depending on gene expression, mutation or other diagnostic parameters from the patient.

We focus on specifically inhibiting the aberrant activity of one of the cancer associated Ras isoforms encoded by HRAS, NRAS or KRAS genes.

Our research aims here are:

  • Drug Development– to develop novel drugs that block RAS signalling in cancer.
  • Target Nomination– to understand which components of RAS interaction network in particular on the membrane (nanocluster) could be targeted with drugs to block RAS-dependent stemness signalling.

Core Methodologies

  • molecular cell biology (2D proliferation, 3D sphere cultures, inducible lentiviral vectors, knock-down and out  etc.)
  • biochemistry (assay development, protein interaction, structure etc.)
  • quantitative fluorescence methods and confocal imaging (FRET, FRAP etc.)


Additional information on our activities can be found here:

Group Members active in Turku:

Christina Oetken-Lindholm, PhD

Matias Knuuttila, PhD

Hanna Parkkola, PhD

Farid A. Siddiqui, MSc